According to the Voice of America, Debris and damage are seen in the aftermath of a rocket attack in Irbil, Iraq, Tuesday, February 16.
A rocket attack in northern Iraq late Monday killed a contractor for the U.S.-led coalition and injured at least eight other people, according to coalition and Iraqi officials.
Coalition spokesman U.S. Army Col. Wayne Marotto said early Tuesday a total of 14 rockets were launched, and that three hit an airbase housing U.S. troops near Irbil’s airport.
Marotto explained that the contractor killed was not an American, and that the injured included eight other civilian contractors and a U.S. service member.
A little-known group called Saraya Awliya al-Dam claimed responsibility for the attack.
“We are outraged by today’s rocket attack in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement late Monday. “We express our condolences to the loved ones of the civilian contractor killed in this attack, and to the innocent Iraqi people and their families who are suffering these ruthless acts of violence. I have reached out to Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Masrour Barzani to discuss the incident and to pledge our support for all efforts to investigate and hold accountable those responsible.”
Barzani said on Twitter he had spoken with Blinken “about the cowardly attack” and that the two sides would “coordinate closely in the investigation.”
The last coalition deaths from hostile acts in Iraq came nearly a year ago when a rocket attack on a base north of Baghdad killed two U.S. service members and one from Britain. Tensions have escalated between militias aligned with Iran on one side and U.S. forces, their Iraqi and Kurdish allies on the other side.
See photos of the disaster